Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 24, 2023
Felony charges filed following Zanesville child abduction
The Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges Friday against Thomas Pritchard of Zanesville in relation to an Amber Alert issued Thursday evening involving the abduction of two young children from Muskingum County.
Pritchard is charged with two counts of kidnapping and one count of theft of a motor vehicle.
Kidnapping is a felony of the first degree and carries a sentencing range of three to 11 years in prison. Theft of a motor vehicle is a fourth-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 18 months.
Additional charges could be filed as the case is further investigated.
Just after 5 p.m. Thursday, the Zanesville Police Department received a call reporting the theft of an SUV with two children, ages 3 and 1, still inside the vehicle.
Detectives immediately began their investigation by reviewing video surveillance from several area businesses in the area of the crime and by following up on citizen-provided tips that proved to be critical in identifying the suspect.
The stolen vehicle was later located in Washington, Pennsylvania shortly before 8 p.m.
Pritchard was arrested and taken to jail, while the children were returned to their families with no signs of physical harm.
In addition to the charges filed in Muskingum County, Pritchard was charged in Pennsylvania with the following crimes:
Driving under the influence of alcohol
Receiving stolen property
“For the second time in less than a week, multiple law enforcement agencies have worked together with businesses and citizens to quickly apprehend a dangerous felon, thus providing a sense of security and relief to a concerned community,” Prosecutor Ron Welch said. “Holding offenders accountable for their actions and providing swift punishment and consequences remains a primary goal of the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office and for all law enforcement responsible for protecting Muskingum County.”
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